Dynamics of Land Use Changes on the Livelihood of Local Communities in Baringo County: Effects of Land Use Changes

Date

2021-12-29

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Publisher

International Journal of Agricultural Economics

Abstract

This paper examined the effects of land use changes on the livelihood of the local communities in Baringo County. Land is a principal factor of production, a source of life and livelihoods. It provides a means of living and a variety of uses such as agricultural, human settlement, environmental conservation, urban and industrial development purposes among others. These uses compete for space in a fixed area, hence the rising land use conflicts and degradation. The situation has threatened lives and livelihoods, making it difficult to plan for the livelihood activities in Baringo County. This is happening against the backdrop of land use policy changes including; the National Land Policy, the Constitution of Kenya 2010, the Land Act, 2012, the Land Registration Act, 2012, the Community Land Act, 2016 and the National Land Use Policy that confers sanctity on land use. Using non-experimental survey design, 323 households were randomly sampled from Baringo South, Tiaty, Baringo North and Eldama Ravine Constituencies. Cobb-Douglas production model was used to analyze livelihood assets productivity. The study found out that land use changes decreased livelihood assets productivity at varied level of significance; human by 56.1% at 1%, physical by 53.4% at 10% and financial by 65.6% at 5% level. This decrease is related with the unregistered community land in dry areas (pastoral) largely in Tiaty constituency, where livelihood assets productivity decreased by 282.4% at 5%, and in the marginal areas (agro-pastoral) largely in Baringo South, where livelihood assets productivity decreased by 9% at 1% level of significance. In contrast, land use changes increased livelihood assets productivity in the highlands, particularly, in Eldama Ravine constituency, it increased by 139.3% at 10%, and in Baringo North Constituency, it increased by 5.1% at 1% level of significance. This increase in livelihood assets productivity in the highlands was associated with security of land tenure under registered private land use. The study concluded that unregistered community land is the main cause of unstable and uncertain livelihoods in Baringo County particularly in dry areas. The effects led to severe land use conflicts occasioning deaths, displacement and distorted livelihood perpetuating uncertain conditions for future livelihood development. The government, therefore, need to recognize, protect and register the local communities’ interest on community land. This will guarantee land tenure security, enhance livelihood assets productivity and secure future development for the local communities.

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Citation

Edward Lekaichu Ole Kateiya, Aggrey Daniel Maina Thuo, Maurice Ochieng Ombok. (2021). Dynamics of Land Use Changes on the Livelihood of Local Communities in Baringo County: Effects of Land Use Changes. International Journal of Agricultural Economics, 6(6), 329-345.